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the obama years. more people are getting heating assistance, cell phones. you name it, you can get more of it in the obama years. point is there is no plan to rein this in. the president is adamantly opposed to any spending cuts or any reining in of these run-away programs. >>gretchen: one in six americans now on food stamps. i think one in four children, i've heard, are on food stamps. >> 19.9 million children are fed by the federal government. >>gretchen: you know what comes to mind is i wonder what president bill clinton thinks about this. he's been an advocate of president obama, obviously helping him get reelected, but he was in charge of welfare reform. a lot of these things have been rolled back. i'm wondering what he thinks about this. >> i don't think he's said anything. he's been a big supporter of president obama in the election campaign last year, but i don't think welfare reform and the reversal of reform ever came up. i don't know what he thinks about this. >>steve: this could be one of the indicators why fitch is talking about down grading the u.s. debt once again. >> pre
over for a year and a half. now i understand moral high ground. it's with us every day. let's look at health care. today there was an op-ed in "the wall street journal" about the cost of obama care. there's continuing articles on the cost of dodd-frank, transactions for real estate. in the end, the moral high ground is a very big argument. steve liesman's center piece was, how the spin, so to speak, is going to be about the word default. and he's absolutely right. there's a certain default on interest payments. that's a legal default. but when you don't send the checks to people on social security or medicare or you don't send checks to veterans or you don't keep veterans hospitals open, that's a moral issue. it's going to be impossible to beat that. and in the end it comes down to a philosophical argument nobody really wants to have. and when we have it, people make fun of the argument. but the argument is, socialism. to help the collective by doing something to the few is the very cornerstone of socialism. whether right or wrong. there's a moral high ground that we're that going
know that there is anywhere near true. >> i think barack obama agreed with me, the debt ceiling is there for a reason. it forces us to have this discussion. if we didn't have it, we would blow through it like we did for many years. yes, we're doing it differently now. we're talking about the debt ceiling in term of ways to have a discussion and reduce spending. is that different than it has been over the last 30 years? yes, but thankfully so. maybe if we had these discussions for the last 30 years we wouldn't be looking at $6 trillion in debt. we've done it to ourselves but this is the future and perhaps rightly so until we get things straightened out. >> we'll keep a close eye. thanks for coming to the camera. >> thanks for having me. >> still, the cost of america's crumbling of infrastructure. we're back in a moment. >> announcer: this cnbc program is sponsored by audi, truth in engineering. [ engine revs ] come in. ♪ got the coffee. that was fast. we're outta here. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ the street." i'm michelle caruso cabrera. a report just came out that shows how costly
obama inaugural, they're very much resigned to a pretty difficult time economically. there isn't nearly the sort of hope that you had in 2009 when we asked people is 2013 going to be a year of economic expansion and opportunity or where where you pull back and stay for hard times? by two to one, people say they're going to pull back and save for hard times. president obama's approval rating is over 50%, it's at 52%. not bad. but not a real spike as sometimes you get with a re-elected president who benefits from the absence of bad feeling once the election is over. he's doing a little better, but he only moves in a narrow band. republicans or the congress, rather, is doing much, much worse. you see the approval rating for congress. it's only 14%. 81% disapprove of congress. that is epically bad and it shows the president has a bit of a strength in hand as he goes into the budget talks. so does this final number that i want to run through, which is if the budget talk fails, the debt limit is not raised and if there are consequences for the united states not meeting its obligations, who wo
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